Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Indie Spotlight: Monica Li

Indie Spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. Here, Raelee Chapman talks to Singaporean indie author Monica Li about her first novel The Dragon Phoenix Bracelet.

The Dragon Phoenix Bracelet is an historical novel that follows a family through the turbulent political history of twentieth century China. Tell us about what inspired you to write this novel. Who would you say the target audience is, and who are your literary influences?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Lion City Lit: Singapore Mutiny

Asian Books Blog is based in Singapore.  Lion City Lit explores literary life in our own backyard. This week, we offer a quick notice for Singapore Mutiny, a stirring account of combat and survival, by Mary Brown and Edwin A. Brown. This is a must-read for all history buffs, but especially for those with an interest in military history, or in the history of India, or in that of South East Asia.  

The Singapore Sepoy Mutiny of 1915 was an alarming episode in Singapore’s colonial history that saw 850 Indian soldiers serving in the British army revolt and slaughter 47 Brits, both soldiers and civilians. To mark the Mutiny's centenary Monsoon Books has brought out a diary kept at the time by the Browns, a colonial couple who were in the thick of the action.  The diary, never previously published, has forewords by Professor Brian P. Farrell, Department of History, National University of Singapore, Nigel Barley, the author and anthropologist, and Celia Ferguson, the Browns’ granddaughter.

Here’s an extract from the diary’s opening entry:
Chinese New Year 1915 will long be remembered in the Straits Settlements…We left for home, had a tiffin, and went to our rooms for a lie-off, having arranged to go for a good walk when the heat of the day was over. We had our tea, and at 5 pm got into the trap. We drove along Tanglin Road, into Stephens Road, and along Bukit Timah Road to the junction of Cluny Road, and there we dismissed the syce. We thought it a curious fact that no-one was playing tennis…and there was not a soul to be seen on the garrison golf course…You can imagine our horror when we found that the 5th Light Infantry had broken out in open mutiny and had been in Tanglin that afternoon, and were even then supposed to be marching on Singapore!

Also by Edwin A. Brown, Indiscreet Memories: 1901 Singapore through the eyes of a colonial Englishman. 

Both books are published in paperback, priced in local currencies, and widely available in Asia. Ebooks are available from online retailers. 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

2015 Historical Novel Society Australasia Conference

From 20-22 March, the Historical Novel Society Australasia is holding its inaugural conference in Sydney. The theme is The Historical Novel in Peace and War.  Open to all, the conference will be a celebration of historical fiction in a weekend of talks, panels, debates, book launches and readings.  

Quick Notice: new titles from Asian Review Of Books

Please note these two new titles from Asian Review Of Books, both edited by Peter Gordon, and published through Chameleon Press in Hong Kong. 

Print editions of the Asian Review of Books: Volume 1, Number 3, January 2015, covering October - December 2014.

China 2014 : The Year in Books 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Woman + Pink Motorcycle = Adventure

UK-based Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent is an itinerant adventurer and a travel writer. Her first book, Tuk-tuk to the Road: Two Girls, Three Wheels, 12,500 Miles was an account of how she and a friend drove a tuk-tuk from Bangkok to the UK. She followed up with A Short Ride In The Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail By Motorcycle, her account of seven weeks she spent discovering the Ho Chi Minh Trail, alone, on a bike called The Pink Panther, because of its pretty pink spray job.